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Six million homes without setup boxes

New Delhi, Mar 24 () : With one week to go, over six million homes in 38 cities are going without Setup boxes, says the latest report of Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

In this second phase, these cities cover 16 million homes with TV and so far ten million homes have gone in for Setup boxes. The majority of the homes numbering four million have switched to DTH and the rest opted for digital cable from MSO and local operators.

As per the Ministry’s Digital Addressable System programme, all homes have to switch to digital or TV screens or would face blackout since MSO who supplies the signals to cable operators as per law should supply only digital signals and stop analog transmission. The Ministry has a system to track all MSO operations and fine them.

The first phase in Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata met with a partial success. Chennai is caught between a turf war between Sun-owned MSO and the State-owned Arasu cable. The I&B is yet to clear Arasu permission while a new player run by cable operators association has too entered the arena as MSO.

In Kolkata, TMC has put the deadline in back burner. The case went to the High Court which extended the deadline for metros to March 31. Deadline for the second phase for cities also falls on this date.

In the South, the cities are Coimbatore, Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad and Vishakapatnam. In Maharashtra, the cities are Nagpur, Pune, Nasik, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad, Solapur, Kalyan-Dombivali and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Other cities are Jaipur, Jodhpur, Howrah, Chandigarh, Varanasi, Agra, Allahabad, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Amritsar Ludhiana, Ahmedabad,Rajkot,Surat,Vadodara, Faridabad, Ranchi, Patna, Indore, Bhopal,Jabalpur and Srinagar.

TRAI feels that within 60 days at least 8 million homes were turned into digital and this for many countries would take years. Next was to get all those operators to come together for a joint approach like pricing of HD and 3D format . The real benefit will be got by channels and DTH in the next 60 days, says TRAI.

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